Neighbourhood: Berks County

Text & photography by Nicholas Gottlund

The book house Gottlund Verlag is small. It was built to be that way: a space constructed around a few simple pieces of equipment and the idea that it should breathe, where the separation of indoor and outdoor is made as thin as possible. When you are there in the winter, you can feel the cold that has settled into every object overnight. In the summer, you open the windows upstairs to let the hot air out between folding paper. It is a place where you can hear the trees as they knock into one another in the wind. There is a spring with a roof over it. This hole in the earth is where the water comes from.

The snow is falling as I write this. I am looking forward to it warming up again and the snow melting off. In late April and May, we go mushroom hunting for morels. Two elderly sisters living near the creek used to hunt for the mushrooms at night when they thought they popped up. They would put on dark caps and go into the woods with flashlights.

In 1981, when my parents bought this place with all the accompanying junk, cars, and land, it was a shell of a long abandoned log home. In those days, a meadow of bluebells stretched out in front of the house towards the road to town. There was furniture left at the wood’s edge and it smelled wet in the springtime night.

Read more in N˚2: Constant.